Why all the fuss?
It’s easy to see why people are so excited about the 4C. It’s Alfa’s current halo car and a mini-version of the 8C supercar, which we never received locally. Then, there’s the way the thing looks; it will be one of the most eye-catching rides you’ll encounter on local roads. It’s low-slung, curvy and unmistakably Italian in its design. The two-seater is just under four metres long and 1 860mm wide in an effort to make it both as compact and aerodynamic as possible. It’s even produced at the Maserati plant in Modena, which adds to its appeal.
There’s its carbon fibre monocoque, which weighs just 65kg and makes it rigid and lightweight for improved cornering and straight line performance. These carbon tubs can only be produced at a rate of around 1 000 a year, which will limit the number of 4C’s made. The rest of the car is made up of aluminium, steel, SMC and carbon fibre; even the windows are 10 percent thinner than normal, which makes for a dry weight of only 895kg.
Design-wise the interior is simplistic with a good balance of form and function. That steering wheel looks a bit out of place though, we must admit. All the controls are designed to turn towards the driver. Everything from the digital instruments, to the positioning of the TCT transmission selector, to the buttons in the centre console, have been designed to remind us of the brand’s motorsport heritage.
The 4C is rear-wheel-drive with a centrally mounted engine for better weight distribution (40 percent front and 60 percent rear) and improved grip in straight line and cornering applications. The 4C is powered by a 1 750cc turbo petrol engine which features direct injection. The car produces 176kW/350Nm and is coupled with a TCT six-speed gearbox with dual dry clutch that allows for a 0-100km/h time of 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 258 km/h.
Due to its low weight and stiff body, the 4C makes do without power steering, which saves weight and enhances the feel. Its suspension is a superimposed wishbone system upfront and an advanced MacPherson geometry at the rear. To stop you when things get too fast there are Brembo callipers on the front with aluminium bell and cast iron ring gear. This technology patented by SHW, guarantees up to two kilograms of reduced weight per disc and improved braking.
Pricing and accessories
Mopar has made a large number of accessories for the 4C, which include the 18 and 19-inch wheels, racing exhaust tailpipe or racing set-up which includes rear anti-roll bar, springs, shock absorbers and front anti-roll bar with specific calibration that can be matched with specially developed Pirelli race tyres.
The 4C retails for R870 000 and comes standard with a three-year/100 000km warranty and maintenance plan.
It will be sold and serviced through seven dedicated dealerships countrywide, namely: